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London Mayor Blocks Funds for Gay World Football Championship


But ‘Gay World Cup’ will go ahead, say organisers


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LONDON, April 15, 2008  –  The Mayor of London has refused to contribute to the funding of the 2008 International Gay & Lesbian Football Association World Championship, which is being held in London in August.

Ken Livingstone has also refused to sign a letter of support for the IGLFAWC’s grant application to the lottery fund.  Having the high-profile support of the Mayor would increase the likelihood of the grant succeeding.  The Mayor refutes the claim.

The unexpected lack of financial support from the Mayor has contributed to the IGLFAWC being left with a funding shortfall.

While the organisers need to raise another £30,000 to cover their costs, there is no fear that the event will not go ahead, a IGLFAWC spokesperson said.

Peter Tatchell of Outrage! described as “scandalous” the lack of any funding or support from City Hall.

“Ken Livingstone is organising billions of pounds for corporate mega events like the 2012 Olympics but can’t give a few thousand pounds to help host the gay football world championship,” said Peter Tatchell of the LGBTI human rights group OutRage!

“London is has won the honour of being the host city, yet the Mayor is refusing to support the event in any way.  He’s giving no funding and won’t sign a letter of support for the lottery bid.

“The UK’s Stonewall Football Club has previously won the gay world championship, and is a strong contender to win the title this year.  It is a great shame that the Mayor is not backing our footballers.

“"The gay community is being taken for granted and short-changed by the Mayor.  Huge grants are being doled out to other communities but the gay community is getting very little.

“Mr Livingstone's refusal to fund the IGLFAWC comes on top of his less generous funding of Pride London, compared to his much larger funding of the St Patrick Day's Parade and the anti-racist Rise music festival.

“Both St Patrick’s Day and Rise deserve Mayoral support, but Pride London also deserves similar levels of financial backing,” Mr. Tatchell concluded.

Responding, Mr. Livingtone said that he was a strong supporter” of Leftfooters FC’s bid to bring the competition to London.

My office have been involved in detailed discussions supporting the bid project from the very outset, and I provided a message of support for the successful bid. Officers gave the bid advice and support on the approach to funding, and also invited the organisers to submit a proposal for project support funding from City Hall, but this offer does not appear to have been taken up so far, he said.

London 2008 is being held between August 24 and 30, with matches being played in Regents Park.

Over 30 teams, both men's and women's, from across the world have so far signed up for the London competition.

They include: Bent…Like Beckham (USA), Birmingham Blaze FC (ENG), Boston Strikers Soccer Club (USA), GFC Bournemouth (ENG), Camden Town FC (ENG), DC Feds (USA), Dublin Devils FC (IRE), East Midlands (ENG), Florida Storm Soccer (USA), Freedom GLADS (ENG), Hackney WFC (ENG), Hogtown Nasty Pigs (CAN), HotScots FC (SCO), Jet City Strikers (USA), Leftfooters FC (ENG), London Leftovers (ENG), Leftfooters Allstars (ENG), London Titans (ENG), New York Ramblers (USA), Pan Fodbold (DEN), Philadelphia Falcons (USA), Royal Canadians (CAN), Samurai Japan (JAP), San Francisco Spikes (USA), Seattle Kobra Kai (USA), St Styrmir (ICE), Styrmir 2 (ICE), Stonewall Lions (ENG), Stonewall Apprentices (ENG), Sydney Rangers FC (AUS), Toronto Titans (CAN) and Yorkshire Terriers (ENG).



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence.  

Posted:15 April 2008 at 14:00 (UK time)
Updated April 16 with Mayor
’s statement



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